This week we (Carrie, plus Bowdoin interns Paul, Grace, Tucker and WWOOFERs Nathan and Nathaniel) held down the fort while Theda was away in Wisconsin. The heat wave certainly made things challenging, but thanks to John–who came to the rescue with every irrigation blowout–we were able to keep the fields watered before we finally had rain later in the week. The crops seem to be exploding with growth, as do the weeds; keeping up with the weeding and managing the growth of approximately 1200 tomatoes has kept our days quite full. Despite the hot weather and subsequent rain, we still had many volunteers show up, including several families with children from All Saints Parish in Brunswick. Here is a picture of our volunteer, Carol, helping keep some tomatoes in check!
The cucumber vines are beginning to show signs of fruit, and we will hopefully be able to start sending them out in just a few days. The plants require daily stringing and pruning; BJ and Carol stepped up to help, even though the tunnels are notoriously hot.
Chard is abundant, the zucchini wave is starting, and we also harvested and sent out our first cabbages this week. Field and tunnel peppers are also coming along, and we are starting to see small fruits appearing on the plants!
After the initial onslaught of cucumber beetles, the pest situation has been tempered significantly by daily Bug Patrol, performed by our dutiful interns and dedicated WWOOFERs (determined, at times, by who loses a quick round of rock/paper/scissors). Squash bugs are beginning to make an appearance, and we have also identified and begun to target the beautiful but oh-so-destructive squash vine borer moth.
Paul and I had the chance to take a peek at our garlic on Saturday when we harvested five plants to send off to UMaine for precautionary testing for garlic bloat nematode in advance of our seed garlic sale in the Fall. The garlic heads look fabulous! It was so exciting to see how well they are forming up underground.
Thank you to everyone who came to help this week, especially in the heat. What a great group to work amongst!